What does asymptomatic mean? Millions spreading Covid without knowing

Despite one of the NHS’s most comprehensive immunization programs in the world, hundreds of thousands are still infected with Covid-19.

What makes the coronavirus particularly contagious is that you can spread the virus without ever knowing you had it.

You can still pass Covid-19 on before symptoms develop and after they have disappeared. The government’s official line on infection reads:

“People who have Covid-19 can infect others about 2 days before symptoms start and up to 10 days afterwards.”

It is for this reason that the UK Government is placing increasing emphasis on regular self-tests before and after meeting people or venturing into potentially crowded areas.

There is also the problem of those who are asymptomatic and unaware that they are spreading it.

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What does asymptomatic mean?

To be asymptomatic means that you are producing or showing no signs of the virus, but you are actually carrying it.

This is especially dangerous as you are just as contagious as those showing symptoms.

New Evidence of it About two in five people infected have no symptoms.

In a recent Chinese review of studies, researchers analyzed nearly 30 million people from around the world.

Their results showed the percentage of asymptomatic cases among those who tested positive.

Of those who got a positive test result, 40.5 percent were asymptomatic.

“The high percentage of asymptomatic infections from this study underscores the potential risk of transmission of asymptomatic infections in communities,” the authors of the paper write.

Asymptomatic isolation

If you have had close contact with someone who got a positive coronavirus test and is not double vaccinated, you will need to isolate yourself for 10 days.

Even if you have no symptoms (asymptomatic), it is strongly recommended that you:

  • Perform rapid lateral flow tests daily (one day for seven days)
  • Limit contact with people who are at higher risk for Covid-19

You may consider leaving isolation if you do a quick lateral flow test on days six and seven of your self-isolation time and both tests are negative. They must be carried out at least 24 hours apart.

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